Next Christmas

Next Christmas


We all have our favorite Christmas songs. The ones we get a little teary-eyed or have goosebumps when we hear the first strands played.

Our family's favorite Christmas song by far is "Silent Night" for many different reasons, but especially because it reminds of someone who is now at the feet of Jesus singing this and many other songs of worship. When it plays on the radio or at home, Titus yells, “Silent Night! I can’t hear!” And of course we turn it up and all sing at the top of our lungs. 

And we all have those Christmas songs that we're not too fond of. That for whatever reason we hope the radio will hurry up and finish playing so that we can get back to belting out our favorite carols.

Now in the spirit of all honesty, the prolific Christian artist TobyMac is not my favorite. Nothing against the guy or his songs, it's just not my type of genre. (My English teacher's heart cringes at anyone who uses "ain't" in a sentence or song!) So, I'm sure for many years as the song "This Christmas" (Father to the Fatherless) resounded in my car and home, I immediately mentally dismissed it and hoped a melodious choir of "O Holy Night" would soon replace the grammatically-incorrect-and-less-than-peaceful song.

But then, one day at a red light this Christmas, I actually heard the words. And wow. I was in tears, with kids in the backseat wondering what was wrong with their crazy crying mama. Because, although we communicate the truth of James 1:27 in (much!) different ways, we're both sharing the same message: God commands us to care for the lonely orphans and widows in His world.

If you haven't heard this song yet (or you're like me and heard, but didn't really listen to it!), check out the full song here about a little boy who desires nothing more at Christmas than a real home and the best gift a lonely boy can dream of: a forever family. Read the lyrics of the chorus for the first or maybe twenty-fifth time and let God's Word, in a very different form, sink in: 

Father of the fatherless
Be with your sons and daughters
This Christmas, this Christmas
You ain't lovin' 'til you choose to give
The love and joy and peace to one of His

Father, let us not forget
The children who are all alone
This Christmas, this Christmas
You ain't lovin' 'til you choose to give
The love and joy and peace to one of His


Now, you might be thinking, "Nice thought, but Christmas is tomorrow. It's too late. I can't invite a random kid or stranger to our Christmas dinner tomorrow." True. Or maybe you're feeling a little guilty, knowing that at the beginning of the Christmas season you wanted to do something special for someone in need, but some how those days on the calendar just flew by and boom, it's already Christmas. 

We get it. It's so easy to have the right heart, to want to help others, especially at Christmas time. And, especially at Christmas time, forget others in the hustle and bustle of crossing all the things off your to-do list.

So, is it too late? Should you just write a reminder on your phone for December 1st next year: "help someone in need this Christmas"? No, you haven't missed the boat. You're not too late. Because, every day is a new day to help the fatherless, the widow, anyone in need. It's a daily, yearly, lifelong pursuit of sharing God's love, peace, and joy with others.

There are thousands of kids in the American foster care system and millions of orphans all over the world that are alone every day. They might not celebrate Christmas, but they feel the weight of being all alone every single day of the year. Some families can't themselves adopt or foster, but there's so many ways to become a support system to families that do or chose to mentor at-risk kids. There are widows who can't do simple house repairs on their own. There are lonely people in your neighborhood and community who's greatest wish every day is to have the warmth of family again, or maybe for the first time. There are countless ways to obey James 1:27 and we truly believe our Father has a special person, big or small, just waiting for you to share your amazing God-given talents and blessings with this next year. And a special shout out to those who have been living this message in 2019, whether by helping us bring Asher home or encouraging us through their lives poured out for the sake of the Gospel.

So, let's start planning for next Christmas. Who's missing at your table this year? Who could you purposefully pursue these next 365 days so that when Christmas does engulf us next year, you're not taken by surprise or regrets? Our family prays and can't wait for a little boy, another son, to be around our tree next year. We're going to shower him with all the love and hugs he's missed out on the first four Christmases of his little life. 

As this Christmas floods over us in the next 24 hours, we pray that you won't forget God's children this next year. That you will show His compassion to those who are all alone. That you will choose to give love, joy, and peace to the most vulnerable in this world not just during the holiday season, but every day of the year.

So, what's next Christmas going to look like for you? We pray that as you walk in obedience to Him, you start asking how you can be His hands and feet to those in need, starting today. To quote the quite brilliant TobyMac, 

"From me and mine, to you and yours
Merry Christmas
This year, reach out and love somebody, y’all"
Just “reach out and love somebody.”  Pretty simple. I can do that. You can do that. This Christmas. Next Christmas. And every day in between.




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] Gawajae


] Wukauqoai


] Hseqqa


] Xupiyixy


] Upuyoz


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